[Editor’s note: This is some pretty big news, and I’m going to wax a little personal for a minute. You can skip down a couple paragraphs if you don’t want to read the sappy stuff if you want. –K]
There’s a great deal that I owe to Silver Sport Transmissions. Almost exactly twenty years ago, some will remember that prior to Jack Silver’s acquisition, it was known as Keisler Performance. As a college student, I was intrigued with the idea of a modern 5-speed for my ’69 Dodge Charger, and emailed then Mopar Muscle editor, Randy Bolig about the kit (having read an installation technical article in a recent issue).
That interaction led to me working at Mopar Muscle and consequently, launched my career. Later in 2015, when we launched Mopar Connection Magazine, Silver Sport Transmissions not only became our first advertising partner but has remained as our Above Title Sponsor all these years (look above this article and you’ll see an SST ad). They have been with us since the beginning – in more ways than one.
Today, I and the rest of the Mopar Connection team are immensely grateful to Jack Silver and his support of our publication and our crazy projects. While we’re sad to see him leave SST, we’re excited for Jeff, Misty, Dick and the whole team at Silver Sport Transmissions and what the future holds with Wharton Automotive Group. Obviously, the pairing of McLeod Racing and FTI Performance are ideal siblings, so expect to see great things coming from the group as a whole.
Here’s the original press release:
The Wharton Automotive Group acquires Silver Sport Transmissions. The Wharton Automotive Group, consisting of McLeod Racing and FTI Performance, is owned by NHRA Nitro Funny Car driver and businessman Paul Lee. Lee closed the deal on Silver Sport Transmissions (SST) on July 30, 2021. With the addition of SST, the Wharton Automotive Group becomes the premier destination for aftermarket and performance driveline components and technology in the world.
Silver Sport Transmissions, a TREMEC Elite Distributor, leads the industry in TREMEC 5 and 6-Speed kits. Their in-house engineering department continuously develops and refines complete, turnkey kits for a wide variety of applications – from classic American muscle cars and trucks to four-wheel drives and late model imports. With decades of experience, SST’s powertrain experts can help you transform your vehicle’s drivetrain into a modern and rewarding driving experience.
“The employees of Silver Sport Transmissions have become my family and the decision to retire was not easy, but after speaking with Paul Lee, I knew I was leaving the company in the best of hands,” says Jack Silver. “I am certain that SST will continue to lead the industry in customer service and innovation. Under the leadership of the Wharton Automotive Group, SST will grow and thrive with the same integrity and grit they have shown over the last seven years.”
Paul Lee continues to grow this sector of the driveline market. With the outstanding success of McLeod Racing, Lee sets his sights for growth in acquisitions. In 2019 Lee purchased the leading racing transmission and torque converter company, FTI Performance. And now continues to grow his business strategy with the acquisition of Silver Sport Transmissions.
“Silver Sport Transmissions is a perfect fit to our business model of becoming the “go to” company for all your high-performance driveline needs.” says Wharton Automotive Group president, Paul Lee. “I’m excited to work with the excellent team at SST. They’ve done a great job of providing the highest quality aftermarket driveline and transmission kits with superior customer service. This is the next step in our goal of being the leader in aftermarket driveline.”
Silver Sport Transmissions will continue to operate in their Rockford, TN location. Lee plans to work closely with the whole SST staff to make a smooth transition. SST plans to be represented at this year’s SEMA show and PRI show.